Theodosia’s Skyler Clark reaches goal of meeting 5,500 veterans this year

Skyler Clark, left, is pictured here with John, whose last name was not given, the 5,500th veteran he’s met so far in 2022.

Just last week, Skyler Clark, a 10-year-old boy from Theodosia, reached his goal of meeting and recognizing more than 5,500 veterans this year. 

Skyler’s mom, Ashlee Clark, says that he met many veterans at various places this year including the Baxter County Fair, a veteran bike rally held in Gassville, Arkansas, the Ava AMVETS breakfast and other places. 

Skyler says the project came to him when he was 7 years old.  

“…veterans go unappreciated for some of the things they went through for our country,” Clark wrote on the “Skylers Fishing Adventures” Facebook page, explaining the reason for starting the project.

“I woke up around 1:30 a.m. [one day] and woke my parents up and told them I needed to do something for the veterans. They told me to go back to bed. They thought I was dreaming. The next morning I woke up and asked ‘what can I do? ‘Then I found a fish hook charms, which to me meant [that] I’m hooked on Jesus and fishing. We started making keychains and necklaces. Whenever I meet a veteran, I give them a keychain or a necklace and say ‘thank you for your service.’ That is my way of saying thank you for serving and protecting our country… I love hearing stories and learning from them. Since starting this, I also give EMS, police officers and fire fighters a keychain or necklace because they also serve our country.”

He handed out 3,000 keychains and necklaces the first year, followed by 3,500 in 2021. This year, Skyler made a goal of handing out 5,500.

 “My long term goal is to meet as many veterans as I can and go hunting or fishing with as many veterans as I can,” Skyler said. 

He keeps a book bag full of the keychains and necklaces with him so he won’t miss an opportunity to approach and thank a veteran, no matter where he is. He has approached veterans at gas stations, walking down sidewalks, in the grocery store and just about everywhere else. 

For more information or keep up with the project, visit “Skylers Fishing Adventures” on Facebook. 

Ozark County Times

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